The Red Dye Free Store - Where to find products without synthetic Dyes

Monday, August 16, 2010

How Can I Keep my Kids from Eating Red Dye in School?

    It's time for school again!  Many parents are wondering, "What foods can I buy that don't have artificial colors, like red dye 40?"  Some parents are concerned about what snack foods to bring to school because some of the children are sensitive to red dye, have a peanut allergy, or need a gluten-free snack.  All of the requirements for snack foods may seem daunting for some - especially for those who are not accustomed to reading food labels.
Below is a list of certified colors.  These are artificial colors made synthetically.  When you read the ingredient list, look for these words - scan for numbers for faster finding.  This is how they will be listed.  If the label says "artificial colors - it would have exempt coloring items like paprika, but it could also include carmine (which is a cochilneal insect).  I exclude artificial colors from my shopping cart as well, unless the natural food coloring was listed - like beet juice, tumeric, or paprika, for example.  I choose not to eat bugs. Yuck!   
FD&C Blue #1
FD&C Blue #2
FD&C Green #3 
FD&C Red #3
FD&C Red #40
FD&C Yellow #5

FD&C Yellow #6
    So, it can be easy, just scan for the numbers attached to the color word!  Now it is possible to find an alternative.  Stay away from brightly colored foods, for example choose Tostidos over Doritos (check the labels though). 
    What do kids really need?  They need less processed foods.  They need foods that won't alter their behavior and affect their learning.  They need water, fruits and vegetables.  They need snacks that give them the energy to sustain them.  You could pack some granola bars, Yoplait for Kids, cheese sticks, grapes, or an apple.  Check for foods that will help them to do their best.    

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